Variety has confirmed the rumors that Timothy Olyphant (Live Free or Die Hard) has been cast in the lead role, Agent 47, in the Luc Besson-produced Hitman at 20th Century Fox. Newcomer Xavier Gens will direct.
The trade says that Fox sees the film as having franchise potential, and Olyphant’s deal allows for sequels.
Production is slated to begin in March in Europe. Skip Woods’ script is based on the “Hitman” videogame franchise set in the world of Agent 47, a genetically engineered assassin.
Besson is producing via his Europa Corp., along with Chuck Gordon and Adrian Askarieh. Daniel Alter co-produces.
Vin Diesel was previously attached as the lead but opted out to star in Fox’s big-budget tentpole Babylon A.D.